NBA -- Kobe goes out with a bang, scores sweet 60
By Anthony Rozic
Fri, 15 Apr 2016
LOS ANGELES -- After 20 years in the NBA, his body aching and his once mighty skills declining, Kobe Bryant announced last November that this season would be his last.
But in his final game on Wednesday night at Staples Center, before a sold-out crowd paid an average of $700 for their seats, Kobe summoned his greatness one last time, ending his fabulous career with a 60-point performance that dazzled the Lakers faithful and the rest of the world.
Kobe, an 18-time All-Star who hung five championship banners during his remarkable reign as the face of the franchise, swished 22 of 50 field goals, 6-of-21 threes and 10 of 12 free throws. Bryant poured 23 points in a fourth quarter rampage that lifted the Lakers past the Utah Jazz, 101-96.
"I'ts hard to believe it happened this way. I'm still shocked about this," Bryant told reporters after the finale. He also addressed the fans who packed the Staples Center to bade him farewell.
"I think the most important part is that we all stayed together throughout. You'll always be in my heart and I sincerely, sincerely appreciate it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you guys," Bryant said.
Among the celebrities who witnessed "Mamba Day" included Jack Nicholson, Leonard DeCaprio, Jay Z, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Adam Levine and David Beckham. Magic Johnson started the tribute with a video montage that saw several of the NBA's biggest stars --- LeBron James, Stephen Curry, etc --- wishing Bryant well.
Bryant's fond farewell was easily the highlight of another disappointing season the Lakers finished with a poor 17-65 record and will miss the playoffs for the third year in a row, a franchise record.
The Jazz, who got 18 points from Trey Lyes 17 points from Gordon Hayward, will also miss the postseason with a 40-42. slate.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Anthony Rozic.
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